October 12, 2010 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE: APD) and MATHESON, a member of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) group, today announced that on-site construction has commenced on a new, jointly-owned liquid helium production plant near Big Piney, Wyoming. The plant, designed to produce 200 million standard cubic feet per year at start-up, with expectations for future expansion to 400 million standard cubic feet per year, would process crude helium produced by a natural gas processing facility that would be operated by Cimarex Energy Co.
The Cimarex facility, which is currently under construction, will process natural gas from the Riley Ridge Field in Wyoming, one of the largest helium-rich natural gas fields in the United States. The Riley Ridge field is believed to contain sufficient helium reserves to support production for decades. Production at the new Wyoming plant is anticipated to commence in 2011.
Air Products, the global leader in helium production, has pioneered many of the helium extraction, production, distribution and storage technologies used in the industry today. Air Products maintains the world’s largest helium production and distribution system and operates numerous facilities around the world.
“The Big Piney plant will further diversify our helium source portfolio and enhance our ability to reliably serve our customer base,” said John Van Sloun, general manager - Worldwide Helium at Air Products. “We are excited to be involved with this project as a direct participant because it will enable us to provide high on stream operations and reliable supply.” Van Sloun added, “Air Products continues to look for other helium source opportunities where we can participate both as an investor and an operator.”
MATHESON manages the global helium business of TNSC under the name MATHESON Global Helium. TNSC is the leading helium supplier in Japan, and is one of only five major industrial gas companies in the world with direct access to helium sources.
“The helium produced from the Big Piney Plant will help to solidify MATHESON’s helium supply for the long term and will give us the opportunity to grow our business. We are pleased that our newest source will be located in Wyoming, close to our existing supply from ExxonMobil, which will enable us to have a simple, efficient and reliable supply chain to serve our customers located in the U.S. and Asian markets,” said Phil Kornbluth, executive vice president, International and Helium for MATHESON.
Upon completion, the Wyoming helium production plant will be the 10th liquid helium plant operating in the United States, and the first new U.S. facility constructed in over a decade. It is expected to employ 8-10 people after start-up.
Helium is used in many unique and valued applications including: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); lifting for high altitude scientific research balloons, blimps and party balloons; fiber optics and semi-conductor manufacturing; metallurgy; breathing atmospheres for deep diving or unique blood gas medical mixtures; analytical chemistry; pressurizing and purging pipes, vessels, and other critical equipment; leak detection; and other advanced applications.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2009, Air Products had revenues of $8.3 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,900 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
MATHESON is a single source for industrial, welding and safety supplies, medical, specialty and electronic gases, gas handling equipment, high performance purification systems, engineering and gas management services, and on-site gas generation with a mission to deliver innovative solutions for global customer requirements. MATHESON is the largest subsidiary of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation Group, one of the five largest suppliers of industrial, specialty, and electronics gases in the world. For more information, visit www.mathesongas.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2009.
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